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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  September 12, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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obama holds. i would love to hear them explain exactly what that is. in the last republican candidates' debate you may recall that texas governor rick perry told the nation social security is a ponzi scheme pitch means it's a criminal act that should be punished by locking somebody up and then of course it should be ended because it's a criminal activity. there has since been another debate. co-hosted by cnn and a tea party group that is based out of a republican pr shop in california. weirdly. that debate is just wrapping up. the highlights and lowlights brought to you by ed schultz right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show." tonight from las vegas. the republican tea party debate just ended and mitt romney did his best to nail rick perry on social security. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
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>> the term ponzi scheme is what scared seniors, number one. number two, suggesting that social security should no longer be a federal program and return to the states unconstitutional is likewise frightening. look, there are a lot of very bright people who agree with you. that's your view. i happen to have a different one. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks, from las vegas. where workers is a focus of my trip out here. i'll talk more about that later in the program. let's talk about the debate first tonight. it was the super bowl for me. i'm loving this stuff. romney and the other candidates can punch perry all they want on social security, but it won't work. with republican primary voters. a new cnn poll shows perry with a commanding lead over romney and the rest of the field when it comes to who republican voters think has the best chance to beat president obama in 2012. perry still has a 16-point lead after he called social security a ponzi scheme and a monstrous lie.
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in the msnbc debate last wednesday which made a lot of news. tonight perry did his best to clarify exactly what he meant. >> this is a broken system. it has been called a ponzi scheme by many people long before me. but no one's had the courage to stand up and say here is how we're going to reform it, transform it for those in those mid-career ages. but we're going to fix it so that our young americans that are going out into the workforce today will know without a doubt that there were some people who came along that didn't lie to them, that didn't try to go around the edges and told them the truth. >> perry's in the same place he was last week. he never said he wanted to abolish social security. he wants to create private accounts. think the country's tried that before and rejected. ed ed it. romney pounced on perry for changing his tone. >> in writing his book governor perry pointed out in his view that social security is unconstitutional, this is not
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something the federal government ought to be involved in, that instead it should be given back to the states. i think that view and the view somehow social security has been forced on us over the past 70 years and by any measure, quoting from his book, any measure social security has been a failure, this is after 70 years of tens of millions of people relying on social security. that's a very different matter. >> governor perry didn't let romney push him around. the texas governor fired right back by reminding romney what was in his book. the crowd was clearly on perry's side. take a look. >> i think that social security is an essential program that we should change the way we're funding it -- >> you called it a criminal -- you said if people did it in the private sector -- >> did what? >> -- it would be called criminal. that's in your book. >> what i said was -- >> romney i think is a complete fraud for accusing perry of softening his position on social security. because during a 2007 fox
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republican debate, romney had the same position as perry. check it out. >> currently we're taking more money into social security than we actually send out. so our current seniors, their benefits are not going to change. for people 20 and 30 and 40 years old we have four major options, for instance for social security. one is the one democrats want, race tax raise taxes. the president said let's have private accounts and take the surplus money gathered in social security and put that into private accounts. that works. >> can you trust him? romney has been on both sides of almost every major issue in this campaign. he can't stand perry's meteoric rise and his pathetic poll numbers. bachmann is even more guilty. take a look at what she said about social security and medicare just last year. >> we need to do like you said is people who are currently on social security need to have the promise kept to them.
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also people within about ten years of receiving social security, they're in a very difficult position, but people that are younger than those ages, they need to have some options in their life so that going forward they can have an ownership of their own social security, their own retirement. >> i mean, this is exactly what rick perry was saying tonight in the debate. here's bachmann and romney going after him. rick perry is mopping the floor with the other candidates for one reason. the republican party is just as radical as he is. mitt romney is desperately, desperately trying to take perry down on social security because romney doesn't stand a chance with southern conservative christian base. perry is dead wrong on social security, medicare and medicaid, and almost every other issue. so is the republican party. president obama for the record has done nothing to put social security in jeopardy. nor has he given any hint that social security would be insolvent in the short term, for
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years to come. this is strictly, as i see it, a straw man argument by the conservatives. if you want to break down the debate tonight, i mean, perry is a basic guy. he kind of reminds me of jesse ventura. has a hell of a headline but doesn't have much story. for the tea partyers and republican base, you don't have to give detail. all you have to is talk about cutting taxes, talking regulations. tonight they threw in t.o.r.t. reform. what struck me about tonight's entire debate, very little focus on jobs. we have an unemployment rate that is nailing our country yet they could not focus their ideas on exactly what we're going to do to get this country back working again. look, romney is smooth. there's no question about it. but the rest of the crowd, you know, they're just not exciting anybody. this is perry's to lose. perry has got the money. perry has the infrastructure. perry's got the conservative
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right wing christians. perry, it's his to lose. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. talking about tonight's social security. do you trust the republicans with your social security? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and make a comment. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. let's turn now to jim moore, "huffington post" contributor and author of the book "why rick perry will make americans miss george w. bush." and dave weigel with us tonight. and democratic strategist. gentlemen, glad to have us tonight. mr. cook, did rick perry do anything to hurt himself tonight in defending his position on where he stands on social security? >> no, i don't think he did. i actually think he helped himself tonight.
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i did think, though, that last week during the msnbc debate he got off his own narrative by talking so ardently about social security and that's what gave the other candidates the idea that they had an opening to chip on perry's lead. the other candidates were wrong, but here's why i think it was a mistake for perry because perry's jobs narrative is what got him where he is now. now, there's a lot of holes in that narrative, but at first blush it looks good. now, here's the problem. his opponents are so weak that they really haven't touched him on the holes in his jobs narrative. instead, they have been so busy trying to chip away at this perceived social security weakness that they haven't even gotten to jobs. and until they get back to the holes in perry's jobs narrative, i don't think they're going to -- i don't think they're going to beat him out of first place. >> dave weigel, how long is it going to take the media to realize that both romney and bachmann had the exact same
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position that perry is purporting in these day baits when it debates when it comes to social security? they're trying to make him out to be a radical. they have sound from these guys exactly like perry. >> we can be slow learners. we're getting there. the poll you just cited noted republicans don't disagree with perry when they make this argument argument. candidates in his position, trying to approve their conservative bone fides to people. frame this as romney defending the new deal is wise for a republican primary. i think the problem came when perry kept getting pressed on what his solution was, he didn't have one. he said, we should start to have the conversation about it. he didn't mention the galveston plan which we came familiar with six years ago when he talked about reforming social security.
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why doesn't he present details? that's one thing i hear about perry. if you're going to force the discussion and not the discussion you should be having, come up with a plan. the media is going to attack it. don't hang it out there and let them beat you up. >> jim, when does rick perry get detailed in these debates? is he going to be forced to be detailed by other candidates? >> he doesn't have to be detailed, ed. he's doing well without any kind of detail whatsoever. what people are starting to see and learn about this guy, the thing nobody is talking about is he is decisive. he makes decisions and stands by them. you talk to -- they talked tonight about the gardasil decision and vaccine for 11-year-old and 12-year-old girls. he acknowledged he made a mistake. the truth is it was his former chief of staff, it was a lobbyist who brought the drug company to the table. perry made it clear it couldn't be bought for $5,000. it's $200,000 according to lobbyists at the capitol.
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the thing you need to understand about this guy is that he makes decisions. he sticks with those decisions. there's no mistakes in his world. when there's a tragedy of policy or something, he basically buries his dead and moves his wagons westward. he gets on with it and starts over. >> gentlemen, i want to address the elephant in the room, if i may, and that is religion. the christian conservatives, will they accept mitt romney who is a mormon as their candidate when they know a christian conservative such as rick perry would have a much better chance at winning all of the southern states? or am i off base on that? dave weigel, will the christian conservative base vote for mitt romney? if romney is out there talking about his position in social security, perry will never win the general election, i think we are to ask the question, would romney's faith get in the way in the south? what do you think? >> it did last time. last time mitt romney's
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competition for the hardcore conservative vote, the vote john mccain had trouble winning was mike huckabee who had far more of a problem on the ideological button pushing contest than perry did. you know, he had raised more taxes than perry had. start right there. the republicans who swear they won't vote for a candidate like that. he ate romney's lunch across the south. so this is a big problem. we see these national polls of who's ahead nationally. there is no national primary. there's going to be iowa, new hampshire, these are early states, then a swath of southern primaries with a lot of delegates. it's very tough. you're in the position of a religious conservative and want a candidate. perry looks strong from the outset. >> gentlemen, i want to bring up quickly michele bachmann. harold cook, do you think he may have resurrected her campaign or put new life into tonight? she was clearly attacking the front-runner rick perry. >> she might have put a little life back into it after getting completely lost in the crowd
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last week at the msnbc debate. i have to tell you, that would be easy to overstate. if you were watching the debate, you would think she put some life back into it. that i think was mostly because the crowd in the room was kind of her crowd and perry's crowd and probably ron paul's crowd and nobody else's. but by if large n large, these guys are not talking to the audience in the room. they're talking to a national audience. and those folks in the room knew when to applaud bachmann and knew when to applaud perry and knew when to appreciate some pretty good ron paul lines. other than that, i think it can be overstated. the extent to which she might have breathed new life into it. >> we had a former governor and current governor come out today and stake their claim. this is tim pawlenty who recently left the race endorsing mitt romney. here it is.
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>> governor romney wants to fix social security. he doesn't want to abolish it or end it. he doesn't believe it should be thrown out. he believes it should be reformed and fixed. i think that's the right approach. most americans, most republicans understand we're going to need social security in a reformed and improved fashion going forward. governor perry has said in the past he thought hfs it was failed and unconstitutional. >> i'm reporting what it says in his book. >> jim moore, bobby jindal, governor of louisiana came out today in support of rick perry. do endorsements early on mean anything at all? once again, it was pawlenty talking about social security. what about all that? >> usually endorsements don't matter a great deal except in strategic primaries they can help. i want to go back to what you talked about earlier, ed, and the question of winning the south. any republican who is going to get the white house is going to have to do so with the southern strategy. a mormon is not going to carry the south. and on super tuesday you're looking at states like texas and
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oklahoma and virginia and tennessee. it's very difficult for a mormon to win those votes. i said on this program from the beginning of this pass that the rally was about going out there and say, look at me, i'm a christian, i'm not a mormon, vote for me. it's working very well for rick. >> jim moore, dave weigel, harold cook. stay with us. we're staying on the debate. we have a little bit more coming up. stay with us. we're right back. >> he had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. it created zero jobs. half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs. >> the candidates were going after the president inside the debate. outside, tea partyers are still looking for a birth certificate. i thought we were done with that garbage. our debate discussion continues. on jobs, the president sent his bill to congress. tonight, one staffer is admitting republicans will block
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the plan just to hurt the president. mitt romney is whacking the president for supporting american workers. tonight, labor is responding. and in "psycho talk" serena williams threw a hissy fit. and fox and friends are playing the race card. ith two children and no way to support them. i put myself through nursing school, and then i decided to go get a doctorate degree. university of phoenix gave me the knowledge to make a difference in people's lives. my name is dr. kimberly horton. i manage a network of over a thousand nurses, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] university of phoenix is proud to sponsor education nation. because we believe an educated world is a better world. and this time in your attic has been the best week of my raccoon life. i'm digging, i'm nesting in this fluffy stuff. i've already had like four babies.
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welcome back to "the ed show."
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welcome back to "the ed show." here's what governor rick perry had to say about president obama's jobs plan. >> he had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. it created zero jobs. $400-plus billion in this package. i can do the math on that one. half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs. this president does not understand how to free up the small businessmen and women or for that matter wall street. >> as you might expect, republicans are eager to slam president obama's plan as another failed stimulus. what they offered was more of the same.
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tax cuts, deregulation. they also argued with each other over exactly how to do that. perry and romney had no hesitation hesitation attacking each other on the record on jobs. >> i think governor perry would agree with me if you dealt four aces that doesn't make you necessarily a great poker player. zero income tax, low regulation. a right to work state. oil in the ground and the republican lecture. >> you were doing pretty good until you got to talking poker. >> let's bring back "huffington post contributor, dave moore, weighen weigel and harold cook. when we start talking about deregulation, we get a lot of generics from the republicans. tax cuts, deregulation, t.o.r.t. reform. harold cook, is this all republicans have to is stay vanilla, stay generic and not get into the detail? what regulation are they talking about?
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>> they'll get into t.o.r.t. reform and then just sound bites that sound good to republicans. there's not a policy that goes along with it. rick perry has a pretty good rap going on jobs. it's absolutely wrong. it worked for him so far. he has to end the sentence with something and has to complain about obama somehow so it's always going to be about taxes and deregulation. let's talk about rick perry's jobs claims for a moment. it's amazing his republican opponents have let him get away with it. all he has to say is i've created more jobs than anybody else in america. his republican opponents have not bothered to say is that the unemployment rate in texas is also as high as it's been since ronald reagan was president. they also haven't said most of those jobs are minimum wage jobs. they haven't said the public
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sector job growth is growing at twice the rate as the private sector job growth which hints a lot of perry's job growth is based on the obama stimulus package. his republican opponents haven't figured out how to crack the perry code and they won't get there for some reason. until they figure out how to get there, perry's going to stay in the lead. >> dave weigel, is it just toxic for any of the republicans to embrace any part of the jobs bill? because that might appear that they are supporting president obama. is that a bad path for the republicans to take? >> the funny thing is, there was a little bit of an embrace the jobs bill, not by name, not explicitly. newt gingrich was saying he would keep tax cuts for people living on social security and medicare. he was talking about the payroll tax cut basically. when they talk about the stimulus, i like the point you just heard here. wren when you talk about the stimulus and you're a governor
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who used the stimulus to cover up a budget hole -- when you talk about the stimulus and how much it cost by putting the number out there, hundreds of billions of dollars of that was tax cuts. republicans in congress aren't ruling out the tax portion of this. this is one of the moments in the debate where you wish they asked a few more follow-up questions. if you're serious about talking about what was in the stimulus and whether it worked, you have governors who took advantage of the spend and governors who will defend the tax cuts and not have a good answer for why that didn't work the way they hoped it would. they say that's the stimulative part. they say the whole thing is a waste of time. which is it? >> jim moore, it is a fact that more jobs have been created in texas than any of the other states. and of course, mitt romney played texas fair i thought pretty much tonight in that debate. whether they're low-wage jobs or whether they're government jobs, it is still a positive number. is this something that rick
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perry is going to ride all the way through the primary process? is the increasing of the jobs strong enough for him to do that? >> it is his narrative that he thinks it will take him to the white house. if you want to sell fishing rods in a big box sporting goods store, you all come down to texas, ed. the truth is they are mostly minimum wage jobs and on top of that, many of the good jobs in government and elsewhere in the energy industry came from the stimulus package, came from tax cuts and came from what the white house has done. and mr. romney is right. we drew some good cards in texas. good weather, energy and growth. but the population increase has not kept up and it has helped strip the job growth. so it's a problem. >> jim moore, dave weigel, harold cook. great to have you guys with us tonight. appreciate it so much. we'll do it again. next up, gretchen carlson is all worked up about serena williams' court meltdown, on the court meltdown.
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she's so out of line her fox and friends sidekicks don't even agree with her. "psycho talk" is next. and in my "playbook" mitt romney seems to be confused about political donations. hae has problems with unions giving money to candidates but has no problem taking from banks while promoting their agendas. [ male announcer ] this is the network.
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and in "psycho talk kbt "tonight, fox's favorite beauty queen gretchen carlson, another shot at the right ring war against entitlements. yesterday tennis player serena williams had a mcenroe moment during the u.s. open final. she got upset about a call and spent a few minutes yelling at the umpire calling her a hater. and ugly on the inside. williams has been fined for her on-court tantrum but gretchen thinks it was more than just unsportsmanlike conduct. >> see, this is what's wrong with our society today. that's the entitlement generation right there. don't look at me. >> no, it isn't. >> yes it is. >> it's john mcenroe, jimmy connors from the '60s, '70s, '80s. >> then they were all bad role models for kids. >> the gretchen's claim, her buddy, brian, isn't onboard. carlson's outrage didn't end there.
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>> use it as a teaching moment. >> i don't know. >> if you're going to be in a heated situation, please don't call the referee unattractive on the inside. >> and a hater. >> and a hater. >> and a loser. >> was that a racial undertone? i didn't quite get that. >> so we have one more addition to the list of things gretchen carlson doesn't get. let me see if i can help her out. athletes get upset and yell at umpires and referees all the time. sometimes athletes and umpires are of different races. it doesn't automatically mean there are racial overtones. and there was nothing in serena williams' outburst to suggest race had anything to do with it. gretchen carlson was the only person to bring it up. for her to use an on-court meltdown as an excuse to pander to her right wing audience on entitlements and imaginary racial undertones is ugly "psycho talk." house republicans say at least a half of president obama's jobs bill is dead in the
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water. but the president is fighting back against the republican strategy to sink his bill. and later, more debate highlights. and heidi harris and joe madison are here tonight. michele bachmann basically accused rick perry of corruption. stay tuned. to be more environmentally aware, we are now printing on the back sides of used paper. and we switched to fedex 'cause a lot of their packaging contains recycled materials. tell them what else fedex does. well we're now using more electric trucks and lower emission planes. we even offer a reusable envelope. now, can't we at least print on the back sides of used paper? what's the executive compensation list...? [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has
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♪ today ♪ must have been one of the strangest days ♪ everyone may face the same uncertainty. ♪ some would say that you won't find ♪ protecting yourself, however, requires good decisions. find strength and stability with mass mutual,
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a company owned by its policyholders. ask your advisor or visit massmutual.com. ♪ ♪ i like dat, all right [ male announcer ] mio. a revolutionary water enhancer. add a little...or a lot. for a drink that's just the way you like it. make it yours. make it mio. welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. president obama sent his american jobs act to congress today. and republicans are already trying to torpedo it. house republican leader eric cantor tried to paint the bill as another stimulus plan telling reporters today, "i will tell you that over half i think of the total dollar amount is so-called stimulus spending. we've been there, done that. the country cannot afford more spending like the stimulus bill." but the real reason republicans are opposing the bill was revealed to "politico" today by
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an anonymous house gop aide who said, "obama is on the ropes, why do we appear ready to hand him a win?" but the president knows this is the republican strategy. he stayed on the offensive today telling congress to pass the whole bill, not just parts of it. >> there are some in washington who'd rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now. in fact, joe and i as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the washington newspapers and it was quoting a republican aide saying, i don't know why we want to cooperate with obama right now, it's not good for our politics. it was very explicit. that's the attitude in this town. yeah, we've been through these things before, but i don't know why we'd be for them right now. >> joining me tonight is to talk about the fight over jobs, dr. james peterson. associate professor of english at lehigh university.
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professor, good to have you with us tonight. that sound bite that we just played of president obama today, a year ago he wouldn't have said that, but everybody back a year ago was saying these republicans are going to do absolutely anything they possibly can to defeat this president. now it's like the light bulb has gone on and now the president appears to be more on the offensive. is that a turning point in your opinion? >> well, i think the turning point started a little ways back. i mean, he revealed the republicans -- and really this is is not the republican party. this is tea party controlled republican party. he revealed them as obstructionists during the whole debt ceiling debacle and the whole debt ceiling talk. i look the strategy, to be on the offensive, to go into the districts where the tea party republican congress folk are and to reveal for the people that obama is offering real solutions. we can actually get the economy turned around slowly but surely here.
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let's be clear. there's some political theater. part of the reason why president obama can do this is because of what the congressional black caucus did, what folks like you did, getting on the streets showing they want jobs. they also show the country that, listen, they're actually not willing to work on your behalf. it's one thing to obstruct the president. it's another thing web hen the interests of a party are caught in between a radical religious white and a very, very wealthy business interest. >> what do you want to see the president and the white house do when it comes to this jobs bill? be on the defensive, be visible every single day? >> i think they have to, yes, they have to continue to talk about what they're talking about. continue to get the points out there. continue to make it clear that, listen, when people are talking about anti-government, they're talking about being against police force, first responders, against nurses, teachers. when people are talking about
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cutting taxes they're not talking about cutting taxes for -- we have to have real conversations about the ways in which too move forward. the political theatrics are going to be part of the process. again, obama can't be aggressive without folk from the cbc -- straight to their constituencies and say, hey, we're trying to help you out here but your homeys over here in congress are not working with us. >> it will be interesting to see. the congressional budget office is going to score this bill. if it comes out positive we're going to have to see what the republican response to that is going to be. >> i think we've already seen it. again, this is more the tea party than the republican party. the tea party folk are committed to getting obama out of there. they have a very, very specific philosophy and ideology. they're sticking to it.
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they're very well organized and a very, very loud minority. they know what they want to do and how they're going to do it. the question remains is whether or not president obama can rise to the challenge. >> he has to stay on the offensive. thanks for being with us tonight. coming up in my "playbook" mitt romney is taking on unions. communications workers of america president larry cowen will join me on that subject next. my doctor told me calcium is best absorbed in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal. woohoo! yes! ♪ it was the best day
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♪ it was the best day yeah! ♪ it was the best day ♪ because of you [echoing] we make a great pair. huh? progressive and the great outdoors. we make a great pair. right, totally. uh... that's what i was thinking. hmm. covering the things that make the outdoors great. now that's progressive. call or click today. welcome back to "the ed show." joining me on "the ed show" fresh off the republican debate, presidential candidate herman cane. good to have you with us tonight. we had quite a discussion amongst you candidates tonight about social security, but we really don't -- these debates don't give us the format to get into the detail of exactly how all of you want to privatize this. i want you to take a moment, mr. cane, and tell me, tonight where's the cutoff line? we heard seniors have nothing to
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worry about. when does it change? what's the age? how would you do it, sir? >> i referred to it as personal retirement accounts, ed. that's really what it does. one possible cutoff would be age 45. if you are 45 years of age or young er younger, you have the option to take half of your social security contribution and put it in a personal retirement account handled by a private firm and you still have to help fund the existing system for those people that are on social security and those that are near social security. this is the structure that was used in chile when they on verted from vert ed ed from their system. i'm not saying 45 years of age is the exact number. it will be somewhere in that vicinity. the idea is you will make more money by investing it in a personal retirement account based upon some safe investments.
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in 20 years more than you will make if you were contributing to social security all the way until you're age 65. >> mr. cain, i think it's fair to point out that the bush administration attempted this starting in january of 2005 after the '04 election. and if we had gone down the road of private accounts, then we saw the stock market crash. what about that? i mean, wouldn't this be a risky model where social security, the way the government has run it, has never defaulted on a payment to americans? what about that? >> no, that -- ed, i'm sorry, with all due respect, that is not correct. first of all, let me address a couple of questions that you raised. president bush did propose a personal retirement account approach, but quite frankly he didn't do a good job of explaining it to the american people. he didn't have all of this party members behind him to explain this to the american people. it was demagogue and so it died. this isn't about turning people loose investing in the stock
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market. no, just like 401(k) plans work in companies, people are given some conservative options that they can select where it will grow. right now when people put money into the social security fund, it doesn't grow. it disappears. so there's a big difference between that. so you're not turning people aloose on the stock market. you have very conservative guidelines to make sure over the long haul they, in fact, will have money when they retire. >> okay. well, what about social security, how it has performed since the day it was put in place some 70 years ago? it is secure and for the next 25 years it's going to be secure and some are out there saying that all you have to do is raise the cap and that will take enough money to carry us another 75 years. what would be wrong with that? >> well, ed, what's wrong with that is that number one, social security is not sustainable. i don't -- even though you say we can go for another 25 years, you're still not fixing the
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problem. i believe in fixing the problem. secondly, if we fix the problem with the personal retirement a account approach like i described like they use in galveston, texas, like they use in chile, this is going to help people have more money when they retire. i don't agree with that. secondly, the social security fund has been raided for years and so they -- >> they borrowed against -- >> they borrowed against it. >> that's what they've done. >> with no intention -- with no intention of putting the money back. it's not sustainable the way it is which is why i believe we should restructure it. >> all right. mr. cain, good to have you with us tonight. i appreciate your time. thanks so much. more debate coverage is coming up. >> thank you, ed. >> you bet, sir. more debate coverage coming up.
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and in my "playbook" tonight, mitt romney is going after labor
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unions. first it was his campaign's new web ad depicting union protests in missouri as a tax on small business. then it was his speech at a boeing facility in south carolina where he said he would outlaw unions from making campaign donations using member dues. >> we have no problem with unions. unions can be productive and helpful in keeping enterprises successful and thriving. when a president runs over the principles of democracy to pursue an agenda which happens to be associated with the interest of people that donated hundreds of millions of dollars to his campaign, it is something we cannot abide. >> so romney doesn't agree with the agenda of organized labor, but he's fine with the agendas of his biggest donors. romney has said he would repeal the dodd/frank financial reform act because of its regulations on wall street final firms. "washington post" reported the largest corporate sources of money for romney are mostly finance industry leaders
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including morgan stanley and the bank of america. goldman sachs employees have given nearly a quarter of a million dollars in contributions. let's bring in larry cowen, president of the communication workers of america. mr. cowen, good to have you with us tonight. i want you to address right now, do members of a union, are they forced to give their dues to political campaigns? because it seems like this is what mr. romney is out there saying. >> yeah, absolutely not. if there is political -- it is totally voluntary ing . mr. rm omney would know that's the law. we see him flip-flopping. one stance when he's the governor of massachusetts. another one pandering to the right wing base today. in general watching the debate, you had to stop from laughing on one hand, or crying on the other. you see 19th century capitalism. fairytale economics. and confusing liberty and freedom.
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i think for working people in this country, you know, we do have a jobs crisis. we have a health care crisis. we have a retirement security crisis and crisis of living in a global economy. we need people who are elected who are serious and don't just pander to their fund-raisers as you just said. >> what do you make of his position to attack unions? it's somewhat paralleled with the radical governors who brought on the legislation in a number of states where your organization obviously is involved in, that is ohio and wisconsin and michigan and florida and new jersey. is this, you think, just a basic strategy that romney is using just to get more favor or does he really believe that collective bargaining is not good for the american worker? >> well, i think, again, he's flip-flopping to deal with the right wing base and to deal with the primaries to come. and to deal with the debate tonight. and who's around him,
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particularly the folks in the audience. some of whom do have some decent populous leanings but have a 19th century view of the country or michele bachmann an 18th century view. when she talks about the thing i'll bring, the bill of rights, the constitution and declaration of independence. >> mr. cohen, good to have you with us tonight. i appreciate your time. thanks so much. we'll visit more on these issues. let's bring in now -- let's bring in now a former pennsylvania senator rick santorum santorum, who was part of that debate tonight. senator, good to have you with us tonight. i appreciate your time. i must say, 15 years as a former conservative, i think i know where you're coming from on a number of these issues. one of the things -- >> thank you, ed. >> one of the things that seems there's just a big disconnect in this country about how we value workers. and what workers' rights are. could you speak to that tonight? can you say as a republican candidate that you could stand up for the middle class and
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stand up for organized labor? i know in your state of pennsylvania, organized labor is very strong. what about that? >> yeah. well actually, ed, one of the things i talk about in all of the debates, i put my economic policy together and put it in mind, growing up in pennsylvania. i grew up in a steel town. butler, pennsylvania. and, you know, all of my friends, you know, their dads worked at the mills. and when i was growing up, 21% of the people in this country were in manufacturing. it's down to 9%. you want to know where the middle of america went? it went with the jobs going overseas. the plan i put in place is a pro-manufacturing jobs plan which cuts corporate tax for all manufacturers to zero. the reason the jobs went off shore, people said labor costs. that's part of it. they couldn't be profitable here. it was tax, regulations, a whole host of things. we need to create an environment here, we can go to the
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manufacturers -- i've talked to a lot of them. they don't want to send the jobs overseas but rather have them in their hometowns. let's give them the tax incentives, regulatory incentives and develop so manufacturing can succeed. you want to be pro-worker, get the manufacturing jobs back, you will see workers go from the bottom rungs of the earnings toward the middle and beyond. >> i couldn't agree with you more. we lost the manufacturing base in the country. a lot of it is because of labor costs. you know, it's a race to the bottom line. i mean, the overseas labor is a lot cheaper. their work standards are a lot cheaper. their environmental conditions, their standards are a lot less. our trade agreements are terrible. >> my point is, ed, we have to confiscate for that. we want the higher paying jobs here. we have to create a situation with our tax code, our regulatory code and with our energy prices which is very, very important for, number one,
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not just for energy prices but for jobs because those energy jobs create jobs. you do those three things, labor is only one component. as you know, ed, you were growing up, i was growing up, labor was a big part of the manufacturing bill. it isn't as much anymore. why? because it's a lot of automated -- i was saying it's not as much now because of automation. so we can get both the manufacturing jobs here and the higher skilled work and get that middle income america back which is really what i'm all about. >> senator, i appreciate you coming on the program tonight. i want you to come back because i show a graph -- i show a graph on this show about where ceo pay has gone in this country and where the middle class pay has gone in the last 30 years. i'm just not convinced the republican party has an answer for that. i want to give you that opportunity on our program to talk about that. we'll hopefully do it again. i appreciate your time tonight. thank you.
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we'll have more on "the ed show." stay w is it here? we got our best guy on it. ♪ [ computer voice ] invalid entry... invalid...invalid... invalid entry. ♪ [ shoes squeaking ] ♪ [ all ] whoa. behold. [ shaq ] the new triple double oreo. who's gonna race with that?
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